Welcome to GAOME

2016-2017 Leadership Team


Lourdes Cardozo-Gaibisso

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Lourdes Cardozo-Gaibisso (B.A. English Language Teaching, M. Ed.) is a former Middle School teacher in her native Uruguay. Lourdes is currently completing her Ph.D. at The University of Georgia’s College of Education in the Department of Language and Literacy Education. She is a Research Assistant for the National Science Foundation funded Language-Rich Inquiry Science with English Language Learners through Biotechnology project and Adjunct Professor of Education at Universidad ORT Uruguay. She currently serves as President of the Georgia Association of Multilingual and Multicultural Education.  Her research focuses on teacher professional learning, TESOL, and translanguaging pedagogies.


Jason Mizell

GAOME Symposium Chair

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Jason Mizell received his MA in Bilingual-Multicultural education from the University of Connecticut, Storrs.  He worked for over 20 years in different dual language programs in the United States (Hall County and Windham Public Schools) and in Latin America (Academica Cotopaxi, Quito, Ecuador; The British School Quito, Quito, Ecuador; Davy College, Cajamarca, Peru; Escuela Anaco, Anaco, Venezuela).  He is currently a PhD student at the University of Georgia in the department of Language and Literacy Education.  He has researched and presented on teaching English as an additional language, bilingual education, and use of critical race theory in education.  His research interests include Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), Reading instruction, Youth   Participatory Action Research (YPAR), and an examination Afro-Latinx in children’s literature.  


​Vice President

Maria Dunbar

Maria's experience as an educator spans over 15 years in the classroom in the elementary, middle, and high school levels. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications, a Masters of Science in Training and Development, and an Education Specialist in Leadership.  I am presently an ESOL District Support Teacher with Atlanta Public Schools. I support the Dual Immersion, World Language and ESOL programs as well the teachers.
I am a first generation American of Haitian and Dominican decent. I speak English, Spanish, and French. I am the proud parent of two sons. My eldest is a junior at Georgia State University and my youngest is entering Georgia State University this summer as a freshman.



Cathy Amanti

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​Cathy Amanti received her BA in Elementary Bilingual Education, her MA in Cultural Anthropology, and her PhD in Language, Reading, and Culture, from the University of Arizona.  She worked for 21 years for Tucson Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona as a bilingual education teacher, assistant principal, coordinator of the Language Acquisition Department, and project manager in the Department of Student Equity. Currently, Dr. Amanti teaches ESOL methods at Georgia State University.  She has written and presented on the Funds of Knowledge research project, teaching English language learners, bilingual education, educational technology, and school discipline. She recently completed a co-edited volume entitled Critical Perspectives on Teaching and Learning English Around the Globe, which is a compilation of original qualitative research studies that focus on the experiences of English language learners and teachers in various parts of the globe.  Amanti’s research interests include second language acquisition, bilingual education, bilingualism and biliteracy, globalization and education, and the intersection of race, language, and power.​



Communications Director

Christian Valdez

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Christian’s story begins in Atlanta, GA, being born in October 1990. His family’s roots stem from Guanajuato, Mexico. Christian was a first generation undergraduate and graduate student at Georgia State University, 2009 and 2017 respectively. 
Christian holds a bachelor’s of science in criminal justice and a master's of education in early childhood education. He is currently a 1st grade dual language immersion teacher at Garden Hills Elementary School in Atlanta, and the communications director for GAOME.



Jayoung Choi

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Jayoung Choi, Ph.D., was born in Incheon, South Korea. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in English literature and language at the University of Incheon, South Korea. Her master’s is in Applied Linguistics and ESL and her Ph.D. is in Language and Literacy education (with an ESOL education focus). Both degrees are from Georgia State University. She is an associate professor of TESOL in the Inclusive Education department at Kennesaw State University. She joined GAOME spring of 2017 as a regional representative (region 7). She is a mother of two young children who are growing up as trilinguals speaking Korean, Farsi, and English.




Sandra Daniel

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Sandra A. Daniel was born in South Georgia and holds a dual Master’s in International Relations and International Communications from Boston University and a bachelor’s in Spanish and French from Valdosta State University. She currently works as the Language Coordinator at the GLOBE Academy, a DLI school in Atlanta, GA. Sandra A. Daniel has worked as a foreign language teacher for seven years, and over the past three years, she as worked as instructional lead for STARTALK programs with FSU and GSU. She recently presented “Book Clubs in the Dual Language Classroom,” at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA). Sandra A. Daniel has been a Regional Representative for GAOME for the last two years and currently serves in the DeKalb County Region. 


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